Melton Times Sports Editor’s blog: Andy Murray - a household name, but never housewives’ favourite

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While Andy Murray was celebrating more world-beating feats last week, his place within the hearts of the British public still seems mystifyingly elusive, writes Chris Harby.

It seems a ludicrous doubt to harbour when you consider the achievements of one of our most successful modern sportsmen.

Murray virtually single-handedly hauled Great Britain to their first Davis Cup triumph in 79 years.

The Scot will toast the new year as world number two for the first time, wrestling the position from a resurgent Roger Federer.

Murray was quick to stress the team element of the surprising Davis Cup success – or to use the PM’s amusing Twitter slip, the David Cup.

Being part of a team seems to inspire and lift the Scot, but it’s blindingly obvious that without him Britain would still be scrapping around in relegation play-offs against Greenland.

Yet within hours of lifting the world’s most cumbersome trophy, the predictable moaning about Murray’s personality and character filtered through from the never-satisfied usual suspects.

You need more than success to be a housewives’ favourite. He may have earned begrudging respect, but never their love.

Murray is routinely labelled a misery, a dour Scot, but can there be anything more miserable than an inability to celebrate a genuine slice of national success?

Moaners don’t like the achievement of others because it illuminates the lack of their own fulfilment and success.

Drive and ambition have also been drained from the nation’s character and have come to be feared.

Murray is unwilling to play the banal PR role. He is single-minded and driven; he has no time for flim-flam, just winning.

And perhaps it’s those things that many middle Englanders, who dominate the sport’s heartland here, are uncomfortable with.

Champions, particularly those who don’t agree to behave like performing monkeys on demand, don’t sit easily in the nation’s favour.

In success-hungry America, he’d be paraded shoulder-high.

But worst of all, pilgrims, is that Murray speaks his mind, a trait severely frowned upon all the way from Downing Street to office canteen and factory shopfloor.

Once the cup was secured, he was relaxed and happy to say what he thought of the ineffectual and complacent Lawn Tennis Association.

The LTA failed to cash in on their first Wimbledon winner in living memory. That participation levels actually dropped after Murray’s historic 2013 triumph is truly staggering.

Clubs up and down the land hope for an upsurge in interest on the back of what happened in Ghent.

But unless the LTA rips up the sport’s niche, class-laden image, its cosy status quo, and gives everyone a crack, nothing will change.

Murray, like many, cannot see the will to make that happen and to his credit was unwilling to play along with the charade.

In my household, Murray’s apparent ambivalence to the public’s opinion of him is what makes him interesting and admired.

He is not striving to please. He is rarely on the tabloid front pages, probably because he wins a lot and has a normal settled family life.

Journalists who have worked closely with Murray say he has a rampant curiosity, hungry to learn about a raft of other subjects.

You get the feeling when retirement comes, he will have many things he wants to achieve and discover away from tennis.

I can’t imagine that from most other one-dimensional modern champions.

As a tennis player and a man I doubt Murray will ever get the widespread credit he deserves, certainly in England.

But the best thing? He won’t care less.